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Introduction to Watercolor Painting: December

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art in the valley
When:
February 13, 2019 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
2019-02-13T13:30:00-05:00
2019-02-13T16:00:00-05:00
Where:
Art in the Valley
205-A East Main St. | Front Royal
VA 22630
Contact:
Kelli Hart
540-252-2260

This class provides a hands-on experience for painting with oils. Learn to set up a palette, mix color, and apply paint to create a finished work of art. Class meets once a week for five weeks. Each week we will work to build a solid foundation in technique. Materials are provided, but feel free to bring your own if you prefer. All skill levels are welcome. Instructor: Michael Budzisz

Wednesday afternoons from 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm, Jan. 23rd – Feb. 20th. Classes will be held in our studio at 205 E. Main St., Front Royal, Virginia.

Class policies: We understand that scheduling conflicts do happen. You may cancel your class for a full refund up to 48 hours before the first class, by phone or in person.

Local News

Jason Poe interviews with Royal Examiner for the 2019 Warren County Sheriff’s race

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When:
February 13, 2019 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
2019-02-13T13:30:00-05:00
2019-02-13T16:00:00-05:00
Where:
Art in the Valley
205-A East Main St. | Front Royal
VA 22630
Contact:
Kelli Hart
540-252-2260

Jason Poe, a Winchester City Police officer who is seeking the Republican endorsement as a candidate for the Warren County Sheriff’s race this year, sat down with Royal Examiner Editor Norma Jean Shaw earlier this week.

He addressed several issues, including what he says is a lack of transparency with the current administration. He said recent headlines involving a civil suit filed by the Front Royal-Warren County EDA that named his father, Donnie Poe, had left him and his family feeling bullied by social media.

Watch the interview:


Poe was the second candidate to announce a bid for the sheriff’s seat. Mark Butler, a Warren County resident and former football coach, announced his candidacy last summer. The independent has nearly 30 years of experience, and currently commutes to his job as a Herndon police officer. Watch Butler’s campaign announcement.


A third candidate, independent, Mickey Licklider, announced his campaign late last summer; he has not responded to Royal Examiner’s request for a sit-down interview.


Both Butler and Poe have agreed to participate in debates later this year.

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Local Government

April 15: A heavy and potentially costly town work session agenda

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When:
February 13, 2019 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
2019-02-13T13:30:00-05:00
2019-02-13T16:00:00-05:00
Where:
Art in the Valley
205-A East Main St. | Front Royal
VA 22630
Contact:
Kelli Hart
540-252-2260

Vice-Mayor William Sealock chairs his first meeting following Mayor Tharpe’s self-imposed administrative leave. Royal Examiner Photos/Roger Bianchini

On Monday evening the Front Royal Town Council gathered for the first time without Mayor Hollis Tharpe present in the wake of his self-imposed administrative leave pending resolution of a misdemeanor solicitation of sexual contact charge. See Related Story:

As press releases fly, plot thickens in Tharpe sex solicitation case

Vice-Mayor William Sealock did an admirable job in keeping a multi-faceted work session with a variety of crucial topics to be discussed moving toward council consensuses on courses of action.

Among those topics crucial to the Town’s economic, utility and infrastructure future were:

1 – a controversial Crooked Run West request for the extension of Town central water-sewer service to an altered North Corridor mixed residential-commercial development planned outside the town limits;  a 5-1 consensus, Meza dissenting, against extension of Town water-sewer service to the planned Crooked Run West project, particularly considering the developer wants in-town service rates for as many as 1,025 residential units and the Town is committed to providing water-sewer service to over one thousand planned homes inside the town limits. While acknowledging that the county board of supervisors has yet to weigh in, it was noted that the county planning commission has just recommended denial of the necessary rezoning to facilitate the Crooked Run West project which would require alterations to both county and town comprehensive plans.

2 – funding variables that could see the Town lose as much as $800,000 in VDOT grant ($650,000) and ITFederal-committed money ($150,000) to Phase One of the West Main Street Extended project (OUCH!); with dramatic reductions – one 10,000 square-foot building to be marketed as rental space resulting in perhaps as few as 10 jobs – from what was announced by then Sixth-District U.S. Congressman Robert Goodlatte in 2015 as Truc “Curt” Tran and ITFederal’s $40-million investment creating 600 or more, high-paying tech jobs by which a VDOT Economic Development Access Grant of $650,000 was qualified for; and Tran’s decision not to relocate ITFederal to the town site perhaps negating his $150,000 commitment to the project, the Town’s anticipated costs of about $300,000 for Phase One of the western connector road could climb to the full price of over a million dollars;

3 – continued discussion of how long a bond issue, 20 or 30 years, and consequent annual debt service – estimated at $691,548 at 20 years and $563,822 for 30 years – to take on to pay off construction of the new Front Royal Police Department headquarters now planned for occupancy by May; while a consensus favored the shorter 20-year bond term that would save significant money in the long term, the immediate reality of almost $130,000 of additional annual debt service to achieve those savings was decisive in achieving a staff and council consensus for the 30-year bond issue;

4 – final details and conditions of the Special Use Permit for United Parcel Service’s expanded overflow parking lot at its town distribution center; the UPS overflow parking lot permit will be forwarded for approval with the nine conditions recommended by the planning commission, including limits on the hours when the lot can be used for truck loading and unloading and parking of the larger trucks in proximity to nearby residences among other restrictions the applicant agreed to;

UPS want to expand parking – needs special use permit

5 – Councilman Jacob Meza’s suggestion the Town hire outside legal counsel to represent it regarding council’s FOIA request for EDA forensic audit materials and any consequent litigation that might become necessary; by a 5-1 consensus, Meza again the odd man out, the Town will not take on the additional expense of outside counsel regarding the EDA audit FOIA and the Town’s financial position regarding the EDA, including the finance director’s discovery of nearly a decade of debt service overpayments of more than $291,000 to the EDA. Asked if he needed legal assistance at this point in the process, Town Attorney Doug Napier replied, “No.”

6 – and direction for administrative staff on how hard a line to draw against Comcast’s plan to close its Front Royal Customer Service Center on North Royal Avenue on June 1st while seeking a new franchise agreement for cable service and utility pole use in town. The existing agreement expired on May 13, 2018. Council concurred with Town Manager Joe Waltz that a hard line should be taken to prevent Comcast from closing what was described as a heavily-used customer service center. Waltz told council Comcast officials said the town closing is part of a business model change in which five or six such local customer service centers are planned for closing.

Meza again bucked the consensus, saying, “I don’t want to lose Comcast – they’re restructuring; it’s a change in their business model.” While Waltz agreed with the business model observation, he again pointed to the heavy local use of the center, noting many town citizens use cash to pay bills that way. The town manager said a new RFP could be issued to put the cable franchise up to bid; but suggested that Comcast might have “too much inventory here” to just pack up and leave.

While Waltz said Comcast has taken the stance that the closing is non-negotiable, he believes maintaining the Front Royal service center should be a key point in the franchise agreement  negotiation.“Tell them to take their lines and cable and move on,” Councilman Tewalt suggested if the non-negotiable stance was maintained.

Stay tuned to your favorite local cable access station for further updates; – and watch the Royal Examiner videos for each topic discussion from the April 15 town council work session.

Gene Tewalt, left, suggests colleague Jacob Meza, right, hold up on suggesting added infrastructure and personnel costs without an identified need or revenue stream to cover long-term expenses

Councilwoman Letasha Thompson and Meza spar over immediate and long-term cost priorities.

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Community Events

Randolph-Macon Academy presents Spring Fine Arts Showcase

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The Randolph-Macon Academy Band and Parade Unit has marched in the NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade for more than ten years. This photo was taken in 2017. Photo courtesy of R-MA.
When:
February 13, 2019 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
2019-02-13T13:30:00-05:00
2019-02-13T16:00:00-05:00
Where:
Art in the Valley
205-A East Main St. | Front Royal
VA 22630
Contact:
Kelli Hart
540-252-2260

The award-winning Randolph-Macon Academy Band and Chorus will be joined by individual student performers amidst a display of student artwork during the first Randolph-Macon Academy Spring Fine Arts Showcase. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at Melton Memorial Gymnasium on Sunday, April 28th.

The Showcase opens at 2:00 pm with art/robotics viewings and individual/small groups musical performances. At 3:00 pm, the R-MA Chorus takes center stage, with the finale coming at 4:00 pm with the R-MA Concert Band. For more information, call 540-636-5484.

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Local News

W&OD Trail detours for construction of a new trail bridge over Route 29

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When:
February 13, 2019 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
2019-02-13T13:30:00-05:00
2019-02-13T16:00:00-05:00
Where:
Art in the Valley
205-A East Main St. | Front Royal
VA 22630
Contact:
Kelli Hart
540-252-2260

FAIRFAX, Va. – Detours begin Friday, April 19, 2019, on the Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail for construction of a new trail bridge over Route 29 (Lee Highway) near the Arlington-Falls Church line. Additionally, the Custis Trail will be detoured beginning in May where it passes under I-66 near Bon Air Park in Arlington due to I-66 widening construction above the trail. Both detours are expected to last until fall 2020.

Details include:

Washington & Old Dominion Trail Bridge Detour at Lee Highway in Arlington (April 19, 2019, to Fall 2020)

On April 19, 2019, the W&OD Trail will close between Little Falls Street and Lee Highway (near mile marker 5.5) and for a short portion on the east side of Lee Highway.

• Pedestrians will be detoured to the north on Little Falls Street, then turn right on Fairfax Drive to reach the signalized crosswalk for Lee Highway. Sidewalk is available for this entire detour.
• Cyclists will be detoured to the south on Little Falls Street, turn left on West Jefferson Street to reach Lee Highway, then turn left on Lee Highway to the signalized crosswalk. Most of Jefferson Street does not have sidewalk.
• On the east side of Lee Highway, trail users will be shifted to nearby Fairfax Drive for about 200 feet. This portion of Fairfax Drive will be closed to vehicle traffic.

A new bridge is being built for the W&OD Trail over Route 29. This bridge will provide trail users a safer crossing at this busy intersection. Upwards of 2,000 people use the trail in this area near mile marker 5.5 on peak days. The bridge is expected to open in fall 2020.

Custis Trail I-66 Underpass Detour Near Bon Air Park
(May 6, 2019 to Fall 2020)

On May 6, 2019, weather permitting, the Custis Trail will close where it passes under I-66 near Bon Air Park in Arlington.

• Trail users will be detoured to cross over I-66 using an existing pedestrian bridge about 750 feet east of the underpass. The bridge can also be accessed from N. Fairfax Drive near Kensington Street.
• The detour will be marked and uses existing paved trails.

An additional lane is being added to I-66 East between the Dulles Connector Road and Fairfax Drive / Glebe Road (Exit 71). Extensive work will occur on the bridge that runs above the trail, which requires the underpass to be closed for safety. As part of the construction, the Custis Trail alignment will be shifted slightly south, improving visibility and safety for trail users. Work is expected to be complete by fall 2020.

W&OD Trail Bridge construction and I-66 Eastbound Widening are components of the Transform 66 Inside the Beltway Eastbound Widening Project. The I-66 Eastbound Widening Project will add a travel lane along four miles of eastbound I-66 and install approximately 12,000 linear feet of new and replacement noise barriers. The project also includes constructing a new direct access ramp from eastbound I-66 to the West Falls Church Metro Station at the Route 7 interchange. Learn more about the project at inside.transform66.org.

The additional eastbound lane is scheduled to open to traffic in fall 2020, and the overall project is expected to be complete in fall 2021.

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Town Notices

TOWN NOTICE: Lane Closure – North Royal Avenue

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When:
February 13, 2019 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
2019-02-13T13:30:00-05:00
2019-02-13T16:00:00-05:00
Where:
Art in the Valley
205-A East Main St. | Front Royal
VA 22630
Contact:
Kelli Hart
540-252-2260

The Town of Front Royal’s Street Maintenance Department will have lane closure on North Royal Avenue from Fairview to North Royal Extended to complete asphalt repairs.

Repairs will begin April 24-26, 2019 (Weather Permitting) between the hours of 9am and 2pm. Signs will be in place and flaggers will be directing traffic. Motorists are asked to use caution while driving in this area and be aware of flaggers and crews working.

We apologize for any inconvenience. If you have any questions or concerns, please call Public Works at 540-635-7819.

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Opinion

Today is Maundy Thursday, the Thursday before Easter

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When:
February 13, 2019 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
2019-02-13T13:30:00-05:00
2019-02-13T16:00:00-05:00
Where:
Art in the Valley
205-A East Main St. | Front Royal
VA 22630
Contact:
Kelli Hart
540-252-2260

Today is Maundy Thursday. Jesus said, “For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15). This is the “mandatum”… our mandate as Christians to serve others. He washed His apostles feet and went out to a garden to pray. He asked them to watch, but they fell asleep. Jesus was arrested, tried, beaten, spit upon, and humiliated beyond words… our Lord… our Teacher… who taught servant-hood and love.

All during the night, He would be humiliated and tortured, and have placed upon His head a crown… one of thorns. More painful was the abandonment… the men He taught… the twelve… abandoned Him.

People abandon Him daily by living sinful lives. We have the chance now to show our love by following His “mandatum”… to become a servant… to serve… to love… to proclaim Jesus as our Savior.

Does the cock crow for me… or ye? I pray not… (reference verse: Luke 22:34).

Reverend Larry W. Johnson
Front Royal, VA

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King Cartoons

Upcoming Events

Apr
20
Sat
10:00 am Humanity Day @ Main Street Gazebo
Humanity Day @ Main Street Gazebo
Apr 20 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Humanity Day @ Main Street Gazebo
This Saturday, April 20th, will be the 1st Annual Humanity Day sponsored by SONA Bank and the Habitat for Humanity. The event will take place at the Gazebo on Main Street in Front Royal from[...]
1:00 pm Dawn McCarty – Book Signing @ Royal Oak Bookshop
Dawn McCarty – Book Signing @ Royal Oak Bookshop
Apr 20 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Dawn McCarty - Book Signing @ Royal Oak Bookshop
Thanks to the efforts of VGSR volunteers, Mickie was surrendered to the rescue and started a new adventure. Mickie was very special and it was not because of his feet. He was a fabulous companion[...]
1:00 pm Jeff Ryan – Book Signing @ Royal Oak Bookshop
Jeff Ryan – Book Signing @ Royal Oak Bookshop
Apr 20 @ 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Jeff Ryan - Book Signing @ Royal Oak Bookshop
Author, speaker, photographer and avid hiker Jeff Ryan was born and raised in Maine. His love of the outdoors was evident early in life. He was skiing at the age of three and spending at least[...]